Archive | December 2012

Merry Christmas from Broken-2B-Restored

 

I pray you have a very blessed Christmas enjoying family and friends. Remember that Christ is the reason for the season. He is the gift that brings us new life, new hope and new joy.  Have a joyous Christmas in the name of the One who is King, the One who is our Wonderful Counselor and the One who is Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

He Was Born!

11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:11-12 NIV)

He was born of a virgin

He was born to be a light unto this world

He was born to bring us joy

He was born to be  our Lord and Savior

He was born to be  our King of Glory

He was born Jesus, The Christ!

 

What Will We Do Now?

As we continue to mourn the loss of the innocent lives lost on Friday, what will we do now?  How will this unfortunate event really change our lives? Will we live differently? Will we love our friends and families more passionately? Will we show love to people we don’t know? Will we reach out and help others more? Will we respect our educators and law enforcement more? Will we embrace each precious moment we are given?  Will we complain less? What will we do now?

What Will We Do Now 001

As I watch the news and read stories on the lives that are no longer with us because of this tragic event, I know I want to see a better world for all of us to live in.  I want to know that we can work through these tragic moments and see brighter days ahead.  I want to know that we, as believers, will continually come together in prayer across state lines, across nations and be connected in prayer by the Holy Spirit as we pray for healing and restoration in God’s land. I want to know that those innocent lives lost were not lost in vain.  What will we do now?

When the events of 9/11 unfolded, we came together and helped our neighbors and we made pledges to live better lives. What will we do differently this time? When events like this occur we are reminded that none of us are promised tomorrow. We know strange things are happening all over the world.  We would be fooling ourselves, if we believed that evil only occurs in what we have associated as evil places.  We know the enemy is running rampant all over the world.  We know that evil things happen to good people and even to our precious little children. We know that we can’t always prevent evil things from happening. But the question remains, what will we do now?

Has any of the world’s most recent events drawn you closer to God? Have you had a conversation with Him since Friday’s events? Have you called upon the name of Jesus in the last few days? Have you asked God to forgive you for any wrongs you have done?  Perhaps you have decided to pray more or to study the Bible more. Perhaps you have decided you want to go to church or go back to church to fellowship with other believers.  If so, will you make a committment to yourself and to God to do better and to live better?  Will you worship Him more?  What will you do now?

What we can do now is pray more, love more and strive to be more like Christ in our day-to-day walk.  We can teach others about the love of Christ.  We can reach out and help each other more. We can find joy in the little things in life instead of worrying and complaining about the big things that tend to weigh us down.  We can thank God every day for the blessings He has given us and not take anything for granted in this life.   We can forgive more often and hate less. We can smile more and not frown so much. We can speak positive words into our own lives and into the lives of others. We can rebuke any negative thoughts that enter into our minds and hearts.  We can help someone in need and not dismiss that they may have a problem.  We can trust God more. We can put on the full armor of God:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your *waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV)

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The picture above was posted on Facebook and the owner of the picture, George Asencio, asked that it be shared so that we would focus on remembering the names of the innocent lives taken so early. Let’s continue to keep those affected by this tragedy in our prayers. God’s love and mercy endures forever.

Knowing God. . .

The Christmas season is here.  Most of us happily look forward to this time of year.  We know the reason for the season is Jesus.  This is a time we spend with our families and remember past Christmases and reflect on memories of those who are no longer here to celebrate with us.  And yet, when we look around, we see there is so much turmoil going on in the world today.  Disastrous weather, violence in our communities, wars in other lands, the list could go on.  Yesterday’s tragic news of the mass shooting at an elementary school has stopped most of us in our tracks as we think of and pray for those affected by this tragedy.  And if you did what I did, you thought what if this had happened at my child’s school?

I saw so many posts on Facebook yesterday of parents joy in picking up their little ones from school or daycare.  That kiss or hug we got from our children yesterday was even more precious as we thought of those parents that received their last hug, kiss, or smile yesterday morning. I can only imagine the extra affection that was bestowed upon children yesterday.  My heart grieves for those who lost a loved one and I especially grieve for them because this is supposed to be a season of joy and love.  How do the mothers and fathers of the young lives lost get through this? How do they explain to their other children that their brother or sister is not coming home? Let’s not forget grandparents, aunts and uncles, and the other classmates. How do the spouses and children of the adults who lost their lives find comfort at this time? How do the teachers and administrators at the school continue their calling to educate our children?  How does the community come together and rebuild from what they are now experiencing in front of the whole world?  How do those of us looking from the outside help our neighbors?

The answer to all of these questions rests in our faith in God. We can only pray that as every day goes by, they will find comfort in knowing that God’s love endures forever. And yet, for some it may be hard to comprehend God’s love during times like these. Knowing God goes beyond what you hear from your Pastor every Sunday. Knowing God goes beyond prayers that others may speak for you. Knowing God goes beyond you being able to read and quote a few scriptures. Knowing God has to get to the point that it is personal between you and Him.  You have to know the Lord for yourself. You have to know Him during the good times as well the bad. You have to be able to take all of your broken self to Him and ask for peace and comfort during a time of devastation and hurt.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3)

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9)

15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91)Dear Lord, there are times we don’t understand why things happen. We ask that You comfort us and give us peace. We pray that You will wrap your loving arms around us right now. We know weeping may endure for a night but joy will come in the morning. As the tears flow and we wait for the morning to come, please keep us close to You. We know You gave your only begotten son so that we may live. We know as our Father, You feel our hurt and sorrow when devastating things happen in our lives. Please wipe our tears away.  We know there is restoration and healing in knowing You. And although we may not understand, we trust You. In the wonderful name of Jesus, Amen!